All teachers had trialled asking questions in the first 5 minutes of the lesson to establish prior knowledge and found that children were instantly engaged and demonstrated the level of their understanding. The lesson could therefore be pitched appropriately.
Statements to agree or disagree with had been used in maths lessons which had clearly revealed misconceptions, resulting in teachers changing the learning objective, sometimes a step back or forwards.
The odd one out and what’s wrong about this had enabled children to see that what is put up is not always correct.
What went wrong enabled children to break down the example and explain their answers, thus embedding their conceptual understanding. They were able to develop their reasoning skills and are becoming more specific in their observations and debating skills. Children are getting better at problem solving.
True or false, what’s the question and all open questions had led to engagement and increased understanding.
Children were asked to put characters into order from bravest to weakest (Literacy story of Rama and Sita). Many children, when asked randomly said Rana first as he was the warrior. A very quiet child with EAL said that Sita was the bravest because she had to be brave to leave a trail when she had been kidnapped. This answer demonstrated a deep level of comprehension.
Teachers had used convince me, the statement, odd one out and range of answers in maths. These enabled children to reason, explain with the correct language, extend all children at all levels and enabled teachers to check understanding and logical thinking.
Example: which is the odd one out given a square, a rectangle and a circle?
Teachers had also used multiple choice questions such as ‘What is a Christian?’, given 4 possible answers. Children were interested in the discussion and were able to justify their choices.
What’s the learning objective given a picture of a cave generated discussion about light and dark. This influenced the planning and ignited enthusiasm.
One teacher modelled addition correctly on a number line then modelled again but using what she had seen as their common mistakes. Children talked through the misconceptions and helped the teacher correct her ‘mistakes’. The message was given that we all make mistakes. Children could see the misconceptions, recognise their own misconceptions and explain their thinking. The term ‘marvellous mistakes’ was often used. Examples:
- Those jumps are too small – they need to be bigger
- No, not those big, medium jumps
- Eventually correct language – one jump for one number.